Political analyst Enock Nyarko has set the records straight over the true position of the GhanaCard as e-passport by analysing comments by the Vice President regarding the status of the card as a globally recognised e-passport by ICAO, and the recent comment by Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.
The Foreign Minister told Parliament earlier in the week that the GhanaCard cannot be used as e-passport to travel to other countries, but many, especially a section of the media, interpreted her comment to mean that the GhanaCard is not an e-passport at all, even when the card is already being used by Ghanaian holders to board flight into Ghana.
Following the misunderstanding and misinterpretation, Nyarko shows that both the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and the Foreign Minister were on the same path and they did not contradict themselves.
He juxtaposes comments by the Vice President and the Foreign Minister, which confirm exactly the status of the GhanaCard and its function as an e-passport, which Ghanaian holders can use to travel home, as well as the limitations of the card – that is the inability to use it to travel to another country until bilateral agreements are reached.
Below is the full write up:
This is just a summary of what Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said about the Ghana card.
- First he talked about being able to be identified anywhere in the world if you are on the Ghana card. Even without your card, so far as you have been registered on the Ghana card, there is an application that can be used to verify you.
- The Ghana card is e-passport because it contains biometrics that can be used to authenticate the identity of travellers. This was made known from day one the Ghana card was being rolled out. It is just common sense. Prof. Ken Attefuah has repeated this many times as far as 2019. Use your smartphone and google it(https://mobile.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Ghana-Card-could-be-passport-to-Europe-Attafuah-746800)
- He further stated that the government has been working with the ICAO to globally activate the e-passport aspect/function of the Ghana card for us.
- Which ICAO has activated and accepted Ghana card as a recognized travel document.
- He said by the end of the first quarter of 2022, the Ghana card will be recognised globally as an e-passport which can be read and identified in all ICAO compliance borders-197 countries and 4,000 airports in the world.
- This is simple and common sense. The fact that your country has been accepted as a member of an Organizations like AU, ECOWAS etc. doesn’t mean you can just enter the country and do anything. Countries will have to negotiate their own deals with other members.
- So ICAO, has accepted the Ghana card as being qualified as a travel document. It is now for Ghana to negotiate with ICAO member countries to accept our Ghana Card just like others members will have to negotiate with us before they can use theirs to enter Ghana.
- The Ghana card is also ECOWAS card because it had to meet ECOWAS requirements for approval. Does that make you citizens of all ECOWAS member countries? Or can you go to any member country to do anything you could do in Ghana? You can only do certain things that at minimal, ECOWAS allow member countries to enjoy, if any country wants more, they have to enter into bilateral agreements with member countries.
- He then added that this will allow holders of the Ghana card to board flight anywhere to Ghana. And yes, we have seen people come to Ghana with their Ghana cards? He never said Ghanaians can travel anywhere with the Ghana card.
- And again, he said, Ghanaians in the diaspora will not need to apply for visas to Ghana and this will happen once the Ghana card is merged with Ghana immigration data.
- And that It is now left for Ghana to engage countries to accept the Ghana card as a travel document.
- This is in summary, what the Foreign Affairs minister said. So how did Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia lie or get exposed ?
This is simple chronology of events.
Must you just follow the crowd just to feel part? What about this simple message don’t you understand?